Trudi Foggo – Painter

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as an artist/maker?

Hello there, I am so going to miss opening up my house at the end of August. It has become one of the high spots in my year. So although I did my degree at Hereford College of arts 2004 to 2008 I still wasn't able to be an artist full-time until six years ago and since that time I have had exhibitions and even dipped my toe into Contemporary Art Fairs. Covid has unfortunately changed things but fingers crossed for next year.

'Summer Saturation' – I have two like this actually, on paper, the other one is called Latent Heat. They will be unframed but mounted.

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

I watch everything, I can't help it, whether I am out walking the hills and watching skies, to people watching. I am endlessly fascinated by the way the light changes over the Malvern Hills. Some of you may remember the Paintings of David Prentice. They have inspired me and I have learned to envision beautiful colours within the hills and to work in a way which is definately 'me'.

So although I strive for my work to be recognisably 'Malvern', it is deconstructed and my intention is to give the viewer the quality of being open to more than one interpretation and an inexactness which hopefully, triggers a response to a remembered place for them. As many of you know, I like to work large and I love the energy of the first wild abandoned swipes of colour which provide a vibrant ground for the subsequent layers. I work in acrylic and I apply a layer of gloss medium between each layer of colour to give luminosity through the layers. It usually takes weeks to complete a painting and I do like to work on several at a time so that I don't become tight or precious about any of them.

Where you do usually work from?

While I am out, looking, everything I need to remember gets put onto the back burner in my brain and then when I get back into the studio, which is where I usually work, it all tumbles out again when it needs to and gets transferred to the canvas. My studio gets more and more untidy and messy until I can no longer 'think' and then it gets blitzed and the floor is re-painted again....for the umpteenth time!! Actually the floor has just been done and is pristine again.

Have you developed any unique or unusual techniques in your work?

No not unique or unusual ......but I do use everything, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, oil bar, oil pastel, soft pastel, collage, gouache, watercolour - why not? Being an artist is all about experimentation.

Tell us about a favourite piece of work and what it means to you.

Although I love producing abstracted representational work, my favourite one, which hangs in my bedroom, is completely abstract and it hangs where it does because every morning I wake up I see different colours in it. It was borne of many layers of frustration and in the end I threw everything at it and is very different to my usual work. It has been exhibited once and didn't get any interest and that was when the penny dropped that is 'mine'.

Also I love love love the work of Brian Rutenberg, his painting, his work ethic......everything. Watch his studio visits on youtube.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

As I said, Brian Rutenberg, David Mankin, Kurt Jackson, Lanyon, Diebenkorn,

What advice would you have for artists who are just starting out?

Paint every day, draw every day. The way to progress is to show up and do the work, you have to be in the studio, working, for the muse to be able to strike!!! If you paint every day, it becomes second nature so that like running....if runners miss a day they get twitchy......I get twitchy if studio time hasn't been done.

If you sell your work, can you tell us more about how you do this?

I have been very lucky to have evolved a local following. I have had exhibitions at Ledbury, Elmslie House in Malvern. During Open Studios I have roughly 60 people coming through my door ever day so that is a brilliant way to make connections and have done very well. Art Fairs are good -expensive to do £1000 outlay and very tiring but can be lucrative.

As to curious about everything, people have amazing stories -get to know them - they might own a gallery! Say yes to everything if you can. Be positive about who you are. Your work will not be better or worse than anyone elses, it will just be 'different' and different is good. If you don't have a positive, joyous feeling about what you produce, it will show in the work and also if you paint with love and joy, that will show in the work as well and remember when people invest in your work, they want a bit of what you do because it makes them feel something.

The 'before' image was pretty grim! It feels better now!

How has lockdown changed your creative process?

Well - five exhibitions closed this year! Like everyone else I have had to embrace social media and I've sold some work with Artistsupportpledge on Instagram. I post up most days on Instagram, either images or short videos about process, I am easy to find on Instagram - lucky to have an unusual name - only one Trudi Foggo!

I have sold some work to direct buyers through my website. If you would like me to keep in touch with you, please leave your email address on the contact form on my website.

Tell us about any future projects you have planned.

I have work on show at Belle Vue Framers and Gallery in Malvern at the moment - do go and have a look. Covid times apply though so please check before making a special trip. I am also on the website for Blue Ginger Gallery. An exhibition at Elmslie House is pencilled in for October - fingers crossed.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If anyone sees work that they like, I can actually bring it to my front door, so that you can at least see it.

See more of Trudi’s work on her Worcestershire Artists page.

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